Tag Archives: Indiana

“I Bleed Blue” Cupcakes.

I’m pretty confident that every major university has a blood drive leading up to their big rivalry game with the tag line “Bleed {fill in team color here}.” How do I know this? I’ve attended or worked for — & bled for — three different universities in three different conferences.

As a freshman at Vanderbilt, I “bled gold.” As a first-time blood donor, I didn’t know you were supposed to eat a big breakfast beforehand. I walked outside to continue working on our float for the Homecoming Parade… & woke up in my dorm room bed at 6pm.

When I saw the light & transferred to BYU (Go Cougars! Beat Texas!), I “bled blue.” I was smarter by now & ate a big meal beforehand… but still bled so slowly that each of the other 3 beds went through 3 other donors before being done with me.

Then I worked for the Indiana University Alumni Association, where I “bled crimson.” Well, I think I did… I don’t have any recollection of anything weird happening, so I’m assuming it went well.

This year, I decided to let baked goods do the bleeding for me. Blue, of course. (Go Cougars! Beat Texas!)

These cupcakes are a cinch to pull together to show your friends & fellow fans your true colors. (Go Cougars! Beat Texas!) & they don’t involve needles, blood, or passing out! Juice & cookies afterwards would be a nice touch though.

  • White or yellow cupcake recipe or mix (I used my all-time favorite easy yellow cake recipe, which is quite pale & works very well for this)
  • 1 box (4 oz.) Jello in team color of choice (just use one or they’ll mix & not look too appetizing)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • frosting
  1. Prepare your cupcakes as directed. Tip: don’t use foil cupcake liners. My only other option at Publix was pink, which I knew wouldn’t go over well. So plan ahead & visit Michael’s or something for some cuter paper cupcake liners that don’t stick to the cake & wind up getting swallowed by party guests. Oops.
  2. When they’ve cooled a little, poke each with a fork.
  3. Mix the Jello & boiling water; stir 2 minutes or until completely dissolved.
  4. Use a small spoon to carefully spoon the Jello into the fork holes in each cupcake.
  5. Chill 3 hours or until Jello is set.
  6. Frost as desired. I used this fabulous color swirl tutorial from Our Best Bites. Once I got the icing in the bags, it was seriously faster than my standard sloppy knife-frosting way, & so much prettier!

P.S. If you’re wondering where to get the awesome football platter, it was a fabulous $1 party-store find several years ago that has stuck with us every season since.

P.P.S. Go Cougars! Beat Texas!

Tidy Mom

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Oatmeal-Raisin Pancakes.

Our first Valentine’s Day as new parents was a family occasion: we went to breakfast at the highly-touted Uptown Cafe in Bloomington. There I tried the special of the day, oatmeal-raisin pancakes. They were sublime… probably the best pancakes I’d ever had.

So tonight, for “brinner” (breakfast for dinner — any other Scrubs fans out there?), I decided to make my own. I found an oatmeal pancakes recipe over at Bees Knees Recipes as my jumping-off point. The result? Well, let’s just say that if they were this tasty even with an uneven-heating electric range & my atrocious pancake-flipping skills (if you could even call them that), they’ve gotta be great!

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup raisins (or to taste)
  1. In a large bowl, combine oats & milk & let stand 5 minutes. (I let it stand while I got my frittata ready to go in the oven.)
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add vanilla, eggs, & applesauce to oat mixture & mix well. Then blend in flour mixture. Finally, stir in raisins.
  4. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to ladle batter for each pancake onto your nonstick griddle. You’ll likely need to stir the batter up again with each batch to keep the raisins from settling at the bottom.
  5. Serve with delicious butter syrup (below). For some reason, regular old plain syrup doesn’t cut it anymore for us!

Butter syrup:

Just put a 2:1 ratio of syrup (doesn’t need to be pure — we use Log Cabin) to butter in a Pyrex measuring cup & melt in the microwave. Swirl, pour over pancakes, & enjoy!

Tidy Mom

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Filed under Holidays, Recipes

Oven-baked BBQ chicken with corn on the cob.

This is the oven-baked BBQ chicken that will make you say goodbye to your grill forever.

No, not really. But it will have you salivating & saying “mmm” every 3 seconds. &, for my fellow apartment dwellers, it’ll make you feel just the slightest bit less sad about your lack of a grill during the summer.

This recipe gives you the grill marks & smoky taste of the grill with the temperature control of an oven, resulting in a juicier piece of chicken that you actually know is done. What a novel concept! It originally came from here, & the simplicity instantly sold me on it. What didn’t was seasoning it with just salt & pepper. We can do much better than that!

The secret ingredient is this:

Buy it. Use it. Love it.

Oven-baked BBQ Chicken

  •  a little olive oil or PAM spray
  • 2 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs &/or other pieces
  • Smokehouse Rub
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
    1. Preheat the oven to 375. Heat a grill pan on medium-high.
    2. Trim extra fat from chicken & sprinkle both sides with Smokehouse Rub. Spray pan with PAM & sear chicken until browned on both sides, with nice grill marks. Work in batches, if necessary, re-spraying between batches.
    3. When chicken pieces are browned, remove to an ovenproof baking dish.
    4. Pour barbecue sauce over the top, spreading evenly.
    5. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes or until cooked through. The chicken will be moist, juicy, & swimming in delicious barbecue-y goodness. Serve alongside some yummy corn on the cob (see foolproof method below) for a real summer meal!

 Foolproof Corn on the Cob

First, it helps to buy Indiana corn. It just does. Sweetest, juiciest corn for like 24 cents an ear (or less, if you go to the Farmer’s Market). Anyone else out there know what I’m talking about?

Even if you’re using anemic Jersey corn instead, it can still be delicious. Just boil enough water to cover in a large stockpot & add a generous pinch of sugar. That’s the secret ingredient. Add your corn, then cover & return to a boil for 4-5 minutes. Perfection! Oh, & make sure to use unsalted butter on your sweet corn. You can thank me later.

Get Your Craft On Tuesdays

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Chewy, Chunky Oatmeal Breakfast Bars.

First, I want to take a moment to give a Web shout-out to all of my dear friends (& readers!) in the Midwest & South. A possible tornado hit Bloomington, Indiana, where we spent three amazing years, & where The Munchkin was born. Reading my friends’ Facebook updates last night about tornado sirens, thunder, & hunkering down in the bathroom into the wee hours turned my stomach in knots. I’m just so grateful to know now that all of my friends are unharmed! I know that right now there are so many who aren’t so fortunate.

One of my fond memories of our time in Bloomington was an unlikely visiting teacher named Sue. (The LDS Church gives members the opportunity & responsibility to care for & serve one another by assigning them certain people to visit once a month & generally look out for.) I had never had a visiting teacher so different from me: I was a new mom; she was older & had no children. At first I had misgivings — how could we have anything in common to talk about? — but she served me so well at such a stressful time of my life that I knew it was meant to be.

One of those ways she served me was by bringing me these breakfast bars so I’d have a nutritious snack that was easy to munch on. They’re low in fat, high in protein & fiber, & seriously addictive!

(By the way, yes, I do recognize the fact that this makes 4 oatmeal recipes in a row here on Make Myself at Home. I seem to be on a bit of a kick lately. & I’m not the least bit sorry. Neither is My Husband The Volunteer Taste-Tester. Or The Munchkin, apparently…)

Sue’s Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 oz. fat-free vanilla yogurt (I used Yoplait Light Very Vanilla)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or applesauce (I used oil this time, only because I didn’t want to open a whole new applesauce container)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla (I just used 1/2 since I used Very Vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or use just 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins &/or Craisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or use 1 cup of all raisins/Craisins… but where’s the fun in that?)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine sugars & wet ingredients.
  3. In another bowl combine flours, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet mixture; stir well.
  5. Stir in oats, fruit, chips, & nuts.
  6. Spread dough into bottom of prepared pan.
  7. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool before cutting & enjoying.

Do you have any dishes that bring back fond memories of old friends or places you lived?

Tidy Mom


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